This week in fantasy women’s basketball, we’ll be highlighting one player who has started every game, one who has come off the bench in every game and three who have moved into the starting lineup during the season and produced well enough that it would be hard for their teams to sit them again.
From that bunch, one player was traded from a crowded backcourt to a team that needed perimeter help, while another is a highly drafted rookie who is earning her minutes in what was expected to be a deep group of bigs.
Across the board, the moral is the same: These players are producing and should be on your fantasy hoops landscape … and perhaps your team.
Shakira Austin, Washington Mystics (26.9% rostered in ESPN leagues): Austin has received extra opportunity of late, as the Mystics have dealt with an injury to Myisha Hines-Allen, overseas commitments from Elizabeth Williams and load management from Elena Delle Donne. The No. 3 overall pick in this year’s WNBA draft has taken advantage of her chances, averaging 14.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks over her past three outings, two of which were starts. Hines-Allen came off the bench on Sunday and played only 11 minutes, so it appears that at least in the short term (and possibly for the long term), Austin should continue to see expanded minutes.
Kayla Thornton, Dallas Wings (26.2%): Thornton has notched double digits in either points or rebounds in five straight games, and has averaged 10.0 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.4 3PG and 0.8 SPG during that stretch. She has started all six games this season, playing 30.0 minutes per game, and is a nightly double-double threat.
Victoria Vivians, Indiana Fever (21.2%): Vivians joined the starting lineup for the Fever in the third game of the season, and she has developed into a primary scorer on the rebuilding squad. In her five starts, she has averaged 14.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.6 3PG and 1.2 SPG in 30.0 MPG. That is strong production, particularly for a guard, in the forward / center-dominated fantasy hoops landscape.
Moriah Jefferson, Minnesota Lynx (19.1%): Jefferson signed with the Lynx when the Wings cut her after the first game of the season. The Lynx had just parted ways with Odyssey Sims and Angel McCoughtry, and they moved the newly signed Jefferson into the starting lineup. She has played excellent basketball so far, putting up 15.5 PPG, 5.5 APG, 2.5 RPG, 2.0 SPG and 1.5 3PG in 32.3 MPG over her four games with the Lynx.
Natisha Hiedeman, Connecticut Sun (6.6%): Hiedeman has been a super-sub for the Sun this season, providing a spark on both offense and defense. In her past three games, she has averaged 11.3 PPG, 4.0 APG, 2.7 SPG, 2.3 3PG and 2.0 RPG in 22.7 MPG. Courtney Williams has returned and is the primary scoring guard for the Sun, but Hiedeman fills a key role off the bench and has the opportunity to continue to provide meaningful fantasy production moving forward.